Surrey’s Top 25 Under 25 Awards
The Surrey Board of Trade recognizes business and community minded people under the age of 25, either working in Surrey or working on a business or community related project in/for Surrey. The top 25 winners are annually recognized as a role model for their community at an awards reception on April 20, 2017 from 5:30-8pm at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel.
For more information, please contact Heather Booth, Events & Communications Manager at email@example.com
|Saghi Ahmadi||MAC MArketing Solutions/Kwantlen Polytechnic University||23|
|Sukhman Bajwa||SOAR Philanthropic Society||16|
|Dylan Belvedere||Maker Cube||23|
|Thomas Bogucki||Enactus SFU (Count on Me)||21|
|Taylor Byrom||TaylorHart Designs||25|
|Jaspreet Dayal||Knightridge Development Ltd.||25|
|Sukhjiven Gill||Kwantlen Polytechnic University||22|
|Jerry Gunadasa||Surrey Crime Prevention Society||22|
|Baqar Hassan||Simon Fraser University / Epione||23|
|Hebah Arsheen Hussaina||Youth for CARE – A Surrey Hospital and Outpatient Care Centre Foundation Initiative||17|
|Leejoo Hwang||Local Development Club||17|
|Bal Khatra||Coast Capital Savings (Young Leaders Community Council)||24|
|Yue (Renee) Lang||Enactus SFU (Bright Ideas)||20|
|Julius Michael||Orello Hearing Technologies||21|
|Kevin Nan||Surrey Model United Nations||17|
|Ethan O’Brien||Living Garden Foods Corporation||23|
|Raveena Oberoi||Just Cakes||22|
|XiYuan (Cecilia) Pang||Art2Heart||17|
|Tina Peng||Surrey City Development Corporation||25|
|Amit Sandhu||EasyWeb Solutions / AutoAffair.ca||20|
|Pratap Sandhu||Prabu Foods Inc / The Pacific Club / Kids Play||21|
|Jeevanjot Sethi||Panorama Ridge Global Initiative||17|
|Parabjot Kaur Singh||Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA)||23|
|Cyrus Wong||Beedie School of Business (Surrey) at Simon Fraser University||20|
Saghi Ahmadi – Age 23
Learning knowledge in school is one thing, but applying the things that you learn in school in a real world setting is another challenge. Saghi is in her 4th year at KPU’s Bachelor of Business Administration program in Entrepreneurial Leadership. Not only is she one of the top academic performers in school, she has successfully applied her academic knowledge in business solutions by administering projects with local H&M stores, Surrey Metro Taxi and Plan Canada. She is a lead trainer for MAC Marketing Solutions initiating corporate process enhancement. Her work resulted in significant improvements in system review, supply chain, and contract review for her clients. In 2015, she was nominated for the company’s Spirit Award for embodying the organization’s core values of fun, teamwork, and excellence. She plans to obtain professional certifications in operations management and aspires to become a Quality Process Analyst in the near future.
Sukhman Bajwa – Age 16
You can always start your own movement when you set your mind to it. Sukhman is a founder of Unified 4 Change, a non-profit organization that supports many local charities through partnerships. Every week, they provide support at a homeless shelter in Surrey and hold an annual basketball tournament for hundreds of students to raise funds for cancer and other medical research. Unified 4 Change has even expanded to UBC and SFU, engaging with post-secondary students. Sukhman is also a Youth Executive Director at SOAR Philanthropic Society. SOAR provides financial assistance to graduating high school students wishing to attend post-secondary institutions and inspires them to realize their potential. He oversees all operations involving high school students across the Lower Mainland. Sukhman is currently a Grade 11 student at Tamanawis Secondary School and has an average close to 100%. He hopes to study science and earn a joint degree with a Doctor of Medicine and MBA one day.
Dylan Belvedere – Age 23
True innovation brings people together. Dylan is a founder and director of Maker Cube, Surrey’s first and only makerspace location, providing workplace tools for innovators at a low cost. Maker Cube is Surrey’s main technical, innovating and inventing space, and it is a hub for people passionate about science, technology, design, and making. Dylan was one of two students from SFU selected for Huawei Mobile’s Seeds of the Future program in China. For 3 years in a row, he was elected as a Vice-President of SFU Surrey’s Mechatronic Systems Engineering Students Society. He also placed first in SFU’s Engineering Competition in 2013 and 2014. Dylan perfectly demonstrates the kind of young, high-tech, entrepreneurial spirit of Surrey’s economic and environmentally sustainable future.
Thomas Bogucki – Age 21
Empowering disadvantaged youth with education is an ultimate solution to end the cycles of economic and social challenges. Thomas is a Program manager for SFU Enactus’ Count on Me. This new program tries to combat the high rates of financial illiteracy and lack of employability skills in the at-risk youth demographic. Over the course of six weeks, it covers the topics of goal setting and budgeting, resumes and cover letters, banking & saving and credit, income & taxes, and job interviews. During this year, Count on Me, led by Thomas has successfully increased their financial assets of 41 participants by a total of $18,263. In 2016 Enactus Western Regional Exposition, Count on Me program finished first in the financial literacy category and won an Impact Award among youth empowerment category. In academics, Thomas has been recognized on the Dean’s Honor Roll in 2014 and 2015, and he recently came in second place at the Ace the Case Competition at KPMG Vancouver.
Taylor Byrom – Age 25
Fashion meets social entrepreneurship. Taylor Byrom is the owner of “Taylor Hart Designs”, an adaptive clothing company developed for children with complex medical needs. Using special fabrics and designs, their clothing is designed to be functional for children with feeding tubes, tracheotomy tubes, wheelchair dependency and sensory processing disorders. A 2013 graduate from KPU’s Fashion & Technology degree program at the Wilson School of Design, she embodies the essence of what KPU hopes for its graduates. As alumni, she continually shows her ongoing spirit of “giving back”. Taylor recently hosted her first Wilson School of Design student intern, and was invited as a guest speaker at 2016 Wilson School Convocation Ceremony. Her vision, empathy, and compassion for children with complex medical needs drives her to build a prosperous company based on integrity, innovation and human-centered design.
Jaspreet Dayal – Age 25
Jaspreet founded Knightridge Development in October 2013 and since has been responsible for a number of real estate development projects ranging from single family homes to high-end residential subdivisions with an estimated value of $9.8 million. In addition to running a thriving business, he is also a full-time intern architectural technologist at Apex Design Group, a design firm specializing in residential and commercial design. At Apex, he leads the company’s consulting division and coordinates engineers, interior designers, contactors and other professionals on commercial projects. He holds a diploma in Architectural Building and Engineering Technology from BCIT and is working towards becoming a registered architect. His ability to lead a growing company while maintaining a full time job and keeping up with his studies shows tremendous work ethic, leadership and resilience.
Sukhjiven Gill – Age 22
It takes great dedication to study abroad while staying at the top of your graduating class. Sukhjiven is an international student from India. She just graduated from KPU’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and earned the Dean’s Honor Roll and Distinction status in April 2016. As a volunteer, she committed over 6 months to work with a team of KPU students and faculty coaches to prepare for case competitions. She was chosen in a team of top 3 students to compete in Chartered Professional Accountants Case Competition, Case IT International Management Information Systems Case Competition, and Singapore Apex Biz-IT Global Case Challenge in 2015. This Involvement in co-op programs paved her way to land a full-time accounting position at MNP LLP. In September, she will be in a Chartered Professional Accountant program, working towards earning a CPA designation by 2018.
Jerry Gunadasa – Age 22
When you are heading down a wrong path, sometimes it only takes one person who can guide you to make better choices. Jerry is exactly that person who offers this support. In 2015, Surrey Crime Prevention Society volunteers contributed close to 30,000 hours towards the enhancement of community safety in the City of Surrey, and Jerry was a critical part of this success. He demonstrated exceptional leadership as a volunteer, going above and beyond in his duties and participating in the Community Safety Youth Leadership & Mentorship Program as a mentor. He has been working with youth-at-risk since May 2015. The mentees that Jerry has been nurturing have successfully completed their commitment with the program, and have become productive members of Surrey’s community. Through this peer-to-peer role, Jerry influences these young people into choosing a positive path, encouraging them to re-evaluate their life choices, breaking ties with people who have negative influences, focusing on education, and increasing their community involvement. One example is that one of his mentees gained admission to the RCMP Youth Academy, completed RCMP Career School Preparation Program and was later admitted to the Justice Institute of BC and New Westminster Student Police Academy.
Baqar Hassan – Age 23
Regardless of your origin and nationality, with bright ideas and extraordinary effort, you can make anything happen in Canada. Baqar is a recent graduate from SFU who is currently working with ePione Technologies. The company manages pharmaceutical consumption by elderly patients, monitoring the dispensing of medications and reporting results to medical professionals. Baqar is one of the founders and his role is to develop the market and respond to customers needs from both the patient and medical professionals. His expertise in marketing and project management has been instrumental in guiding this new venture. As an international student from Pakistan while he was at SFU, Baqar took on a role as a student counselor, and throughout his four years, he served as Vice-President External and Public Relations officer for the Pakistan Student Association. He stayed true to his origin and helped to raise over $10,000 to support local Pakistani community. In 2014, he also raised over $28,000 for Canadian Cancer research. He demonstrated commitment to assist those less fortunate and he perfectly exemplifies the new generation of Canadians.
Hebah Arsheen Hussaina – Age 17
Bridging a gap between community and non-profit organizations is a critical determinant in the success of every charity group. Hebah has been involved with the Surrey Hospital and Outpatient Centre Foundation since 2009 as a volunteer. In executing her volunteer duties, Hebah realized that the Foundation, which raises funds for health facilities serving 1.8 million people, was missing an opportunity to connect youth in our community. She conceived and developed a comprehensive business plan and operational calendar for a sustaining, youth driven organization called, ‘Youth for CARE,’ which supports the Foundation while engaging youth in the Surrey. The unit inspires and actively involves youth in fundraisers supporting the hospital, awareness campaigns and other volunteer initiatives relating to the hospital. Since its inception in April 2015, Youth for CARE has donated over $2700 in support and with over 100 members from 16 different schools, the group continues to expand and make a huge impact on the foundation through outstanding volunteer activities. Hebah also completed Future Leaders program at the City of Surrey to enhance her leadership skills, and volunteers regularly with Surrey Arts Centre and TELUS Science World.
Leejoo Hwang – Age 17
Community planning is easier than a lot of people might think. Leejoo runs a club in Fraser Heights Secondary called, Local Development Club, where they focus on improving the neighborhoods by initiating changes and engaging with local citizens in the community. The Club is currently working on developing and maintaining a start-up garden and a Little Free Library to host a gathering place for like-minded people in the city. He sits on the Resident Advisory Committee for the Surrey District as part of Vancouver Foundation. He also takes part in Surrey Leadership Youth Council and Model United Nations Conference, assisting with youth workshops and fundrasiers. He also works with Evergreen and organizes 100 in 1 Day, a nation-wide event with a focus on urban interventions and community building. Recently, Leejoo came in first at Young Investors Case Competition.
Bal Khatra – Age 24
Making a difference in your community at your work could be the most satisfying factors in your career. Bal plays an integral role at Coast Capital Savings as a member of the credit union’s corporate university: Coast U. Bal is responsible for training Coast Capital Savings’ employees and supporting the company’s community initiatives and learning programs, such as the ‘Youth Get It’ grant program which so far donated $1.2 Million to 87 different community organizations. Through strong leadership and facilitation skills along with unwavering passion for education, he supports new employees and provides vital on-boarding programs as they navigate their positions with Coast Capital. Prior to joining Coast Capital, he was the Vice-President of the SFU Human Resources Student Association, overseeing a strategic plan that increased on-campus engagement amongst HR students and committed opportunities in the industry. Bal also made a significant difference in the lives of youth by volunteering for the past 3 years as a Workshop Facilitator with Junior Achievement of BC’s Dollar with Sense and Economics for Success programs, which support the development of financial literacy skills for youth. Bal’s enthusiasm and dedication to volunteering is matched by his unparalleled work ethic and integrity.
Yue (Renee) Lang – Age 20
By giving an opportunity for youth to run a business, you unleash a whole new entrepreneurial potential for the next generation. Renee is involved with Enactus SFU’s Bright Ideas program, which gives youth a chance to pursue their own entrepreneurial ideas. Students are provided a micro-loan to support their own businesses and sell to the community. Through Renee’s guidance as the external manager, Bright Ideas provided participants an engaging experience while learning fundamental business knowledge. Renee plays a vital role in the executive team, responsible for researching and connecting with potential sponsors and stakeholders that share a similar vision for the club. Time and time again, she has proven herself by maintaining great relationship with sponsors by securing various in-kind and monetary supports to successfully implement Enactus programs. Renee also volunteers for the City of Surrey, taking on leadership positions, working in recreational activities with children at city events. She also sits on the Board of Directors for the Illuminate Vancouver Conference.
Julius Michael – Age 21
Technology based on empathy and inclusiveness changes lives of the less advantaged demographic in our society. Orello Hearing Technology is a hearing aid startup co-founded by Entrepreneurship and Mechatronic students at SFU Surrey in the Technology Entrepreneurship Program. The student team is dedicated to innovating an in-ear self-custom fitted hearing aid uniquely designed for the needs of the developing world. The hearing aid allows for custom fitting and tuning adjustments without the need of a specialist. Julius is a co-founder of Orello Hearing Technology. With his knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship and innovation, he assisted Orello in winning first place in Most Impactful Solution at SFU Surrey’s Opportunity Fest 2016. Julius is passionate about motivating others to be their best and inspires his teammates at Orello to play to their strengths and motivates them to achieve their maximum potential. He was a recipient of the Peter R.B. Armstrong/Rocky Mountaineer Award for Entrepreneurship and was a runner-up at the InTech Case Competition 2015.
Kevin Nan – Age 17
You can make a positive impact on the world even just within your community. In June 2014, Kevin founded Surrey Model United Nations with the goal to create a high-quality, affordable conference for Lower Mainland youth to tackle social justice and philanthropic efforts. He put up over $1000 of his own money as start-up capital for the conference and ultimately the team brought together over 125 delegates at the inaugural session, bringing youth together to take on global initiatives. Kevin is a passionate agent for social change. Kevin facilitated the collection, transportation, delivery and follow-up of 5 international shipments, sending over 20,000 books and other educational materials to build libraries in Uganda, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and NGO camps that serve the Yazidi minority population in Lalish and Doluk, Iraq as well as Syria. Kevin also served as the Finance Director for the MiniEnterprize 2016 Conference, guiding youth in finance, personal branding, entrepreneurship and a case competition. He has also won numerous awards in debate championships and is a passionate public speaker.
Ethan O’Brien – Age 23
This new agricultural technology enables us to rethink how we grow our food. As a member of the 2015 Grenoble x SFU semester in Environmental and Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Ethan came up with the idea of a local food company that utilizes new vertical farming technology to produce food year-round. He designed and built a vertical farming system inside a greenhouse he had built at his parent’s farm, and founded Living Garden Foods Corporation to grow vegetables and herbs to sell at the Surrey Urban Farmers Market. Their recirculating hydroponic farming system uses 90% less water than traditional field agriculture, and can profitably grow food indoors 365 days of the year in any climate, from Saharan heat to Arctic cold. His business won the Grand Prize at SFU’s Opportunity Fest and it was featured in SFU News and Business in Vancouver. Ethan also received the Charles Chang Award for Student Entrepreneurship and the RBC Undergraduate Entrepreneurship and Innovation Award. He and his business partners have attended five tradeshows and presented on stage at the Fraser Valley Food Show and VegExpo to show people without access to land how to grow their own food on any wall surface outside or indoors.
Raveena Oberoi – Age 22
Sometimes a hobby can be turned into a successful business. At the age of 17, Raveena realized her passion in baking and made it into a small venture, Just Cakes. A few years later, Just Cakes is one of the largest and most well known professional pastry and cake businesses in the Lower Mainland. Many of the local restaurants and other large distribution firms have recently started purchasing Raveena’s top products. Through her company, she established a charity division that periodically donates a portion of profits to local charitable organizations across the Lower Mainland. At university, she was recognized as one of the top 15% students with a 3.8 GPA and was awarded a top student and leader by the Golden Key Honors Society for her outstanding work at school and in the community. She has had the opportunity to speak at many large leadership conferences, including at the Young Women in Business conference, where she was recognized as a leading female entrepreneur in the Lower Mainland. She was also recently selected to be on Dragon’s Den to pitch her business and getting a large investor involved with Just Cakes.
XiYuan (Cecillia) Pang – Age 17
Cecilia’s love for empowerment and art resulted in the creation of a city program called Art2heart. The program holds weekly meetings and artistic events to foster the talents of Surrey’s youth in arts. With the mission to unlock potential in youth across the city and increase artistic opportunities for young artists, the program successfully held events with Surrey Steps Up and Surrey Leadership Action Conference. Cecilia was named as Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 in 2015 for her humanitarian work through Free the Children and Rotary International. Her outstanding leadership and volunteering in the community led her to receive the Service Above Self Surrey Youth Leadership Award 2015 and Good Deed Award 2013/14. Compassion, dedication and commitment are the hallmarks of Cecilia’s character and leadership in her continuing efforts to empower herself and others.
Tina Peng – Age 25
Tina joined Surrey City Development Corporation (SCDC) in July of 2014 and is the Senior Development Analyst, assisting the City of Surrey in transforming Surrey into a modern, vibrant and inclusive community. In her role, she established strong partnerships with community stakeholders and developers to facilitate a wide range of investments and developments. Tina is actively involved in the community through numerous organizations. She currently sits on the Events Committee for CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women), a group that supports the development and advancement of women in the commercial real estate industry. She is also on the Marketing Committee for Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association. Graduating from UBC’s Sauder School of Business in 2012, she recently earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. With her real estate market knowledge and financial strength, along with her leadership and problem solving skills, Tina is a valued team member and is a key representative of SCDC.
Atif Saad – Age 23
What is a business without social media nowadays? Atif is a co-founder of a Surrey-based digital marketing agency, ORTANGO. The company focuses on helping small/medium sized businesses with social media, website design and search engine marketing. Since its launch in June 2015, ORTANGE garnered sponsorship from Self Employment & Entrepreneur Development Society and has successfully delivered over 30 projects. Atif also embodies strong community leadership. He was a Hunger Awareness National Champion at Ace Nationals in Calgary for his work with Enactus SFU’s project, “Let’s Can Hunger.” He also co-founded SFU’s largest event social page, “The Schedule SFU” which helps students find out about events happening around the campus. He was the head of sponsorship for SFU Student Society’s 2015 Fall Kickoff Event, and was able to bring $42,000 in both monetary and in-kind sponsorship.
Amit Sandhu – Age 20
Every business needs communication channels that connect your venture to consumers. Amit is a founder and a CEO of EasyWeb Solutions, a marketing agency that provides services such as website development, digital marketing, and content management. Remarkably, all the skills that he needed to launch the business, such as HTML, CSS, and other website coding skills were all self-taught. EasyWeb perfectly reflects Amit’s extraordinary character towards learning, risk-taking and success. Amit is an Economics student at SFU, and is actively involved with Finance Student Society.
Pratap Sandhu – Age 21
Pratap Sandhu is currently a Marketing Director at Prabu Foods; a family-owned venture that has expanded from a small retail sweet shop into a 9,000 square foot Canadian Food Inspection Agency and U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved facility in Surrey. His company is providing frozen ethnic products to Save On Foods, Buy-Low Foods and is currently in talk with Loblaws and Wal-Mart. Pratap played a critical role in this expansion, as it was his idea to sell his family’s products in a retail space and expand the market further to give consumers a taste of ethnic Indian food. Pratap is also a Junior Director of “the Pacific Club” in Vancouver, an organization that gives young business professionals an opportunity to connect and learn from industry leaders. He is the youngest individual on the board and has successfully hosted conferences that featured business leaders like Chip Wilson and Vikram Vij. He is currently completing his Marketing Diploma at BCIT School of Business and is preparing for his Masters in Business Administration at the University of Liverpool.
Jeevanjot Sethi – Age 17
Being an active global ambassador starts at your doorstep. Jeevanjot is the founder of the Panorama Ridge Global Initiative, which is a non-profit organization raising awareness for global issues among youth in Surrey. He founded the organization when he was inspired to take a stand for on-going Syrian crisis. Alongside a group of 10 volunteers, he decided to engage in a fundraising bottle drive to make a small difference for large-scale global issues. After the success of this event, the group decided to continue their pursuit to raise awareness of humanitarian crises. For his project in Guatemala to construct community housing, he raised over $10,000. He mentored volunteers on how to make business presentations for the project and provided guidance in canvassing donations from local Surrey businesses. He has been selected for the Queen’s University Excellence Scholarship, University of Toronto Mississauga Entrance Award, President’s Scholarship at Trinity Western University, and is a Schulich Leader Scholarship Nominee. Upon graduation, he intends to incorporate his interest of science and altruism into a professional career, aspiring to be employed by Doctors Without Borders.
Parabjot Kaur Singh – Age 23
Being a Canadian means you take pride in Canadian values while you stay true to yourself and your roots. Parabjot is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA). Parabjot’s educational accomplishment shows her commitment and motivation towards bringing a positive change in society. Being an ESL student in elementary school, she understands the challenges and barriers that come with learning a different language. She wants to show others that one does not have to let go of their mother tongue in order to excel in another language. Parabjot is a member of RED 93.1 FM radio as the co-host of the children’s program, “Sade Bache Sada Virsa” (Our Children, Our Future) where she shows her exquisite public speaking skills, creativity and confidence. At her school, KPU, she is a member of Creative Writing Guild and has been a persistent volunteer with the Department of Languages and Cultures. Throughout these experiences, she has transformed from being a quiet student to a well-respected leader in the community. Parabjot aspires to become an instructor of English, Punjabi, and Psychology and plans to pursue a master’s degree in Education and International Development.
Cyrus Wong – Age 20
As a Student Life & Social Media Project Manager at the Beedie School of Business at SFU, Cyrus has a direct impact on students within the campus, as well as secondary and elementary students in Greater Vancouver. His role with the Beedie School has allowed him to make a positive impact to over 2,000 students, organizing and assisting events such as Surrey Open House at SFU, Surrey’s Opportunity Festival, Beedie Calling Campaign, and Orientation Week. He is a co-founder of the social venture, CampusPack, which alleviates some of the financial hardships faced by students and small families. The cost of essentials such as bedding supplies and cookware can be a burden to many individuals and families. Along with his partners and sponsors, he created an initiative to provide affordable living essentials while maintaining quality in the goods. As a result, he helped many students and low-income residents save over hundreds of dollars. Cyrus is a determined, passionate and selfless student who is driven to empower others. As a teaching assistant, he is soon embarking on a journey to study at the Korea University Business School, continuing to make a positive impact on new and different communities.
Nominations are closed for 2016. Please check back for the release of the 2017 nomination form.
The Judging Criteria is:
- Must be working on/worked on a business or community project in Surrey (including students) and/or;
- Must be working in the Surrey business community and/or;
- Must be contributing/ have recently contributed to a business or community related project in Surrey and;
- Must be 25 years of age or younger prior to May 26, 2016
Please submit your nomination to: